Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people, considering what is happening with Coronavirus and the effects it has on our daily lives.
What is stress?
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.
How does stress affect health?
Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors or feels overwhelmed. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. – clevelandclinic.org
Here are 5 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
Activities — such as walking, running, hiking or playing with your kids/pets — can help release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).
Pick Up a Relaxing Hobby
Focus on activities that bring you happiness. Try to do something every day that makes you feel good, and it will help relieve your stress. Relaxing hobbies include things like reading, painting, doing puzzles. Or if you’re looking for something more creative, coloring books are a great tool for clearing your mind by focusing on a task at hand.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. According to Harvard Medical School, caffeine use can mimic symptoms of anxiety.
High amounts of caffeine can lead to the negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol (as in chronic stress). However, small to moderate amounts of caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost.
Caffeine is best ingested before exercise—that way your performance is enhanced and the stress-management benefits of exercise can keep you healthy and feeling less stressed throughout the day.
Listen to soothing music
Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day.
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why they’re often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
Scent can affect your mood and stress levels. Using essential oils may help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.
One effective way to breathe in essential oils is through a diffuser, which disperses a scent into the air while you sit back and watch (or, smell) the magic happens.
I’m using essential oils from CDL Naturals by Casa de Lorenzo Organic Products. Under CDL Naturals, a variety of premium product selections are offered for distinguished individuals seeking nature- friendly alternatives in soaps and fragrances.
Here in the Philippines, the most common essential oils are Lemongrass and Citronella since they’re the easiest to grow, require the least maintenance, and very abundant. Casa de Lorenzo has pioneered the introduction of other essential oils from native plants and trees of the Philippines and is working to create and discover more essential oils from the country.
- CALAMANSI ESSENTIAL OIL – From the peels of the beloved Calamansi we use as refreshments or as part of cooking, CDL extracts Calamansi Essential Oil by distillation. The aroma of the essential oil is distinctively Calamansi. The scent of Calamansi has been suggested to help alleviate depression and anxiety. It is also among the few aromatics that not just mask the bad smell but completely neutralizes them, making the essential oil a great additive to cleaning products. It is also an excellent additive to skin toners or blended with other essential oils in a massage blend.
- DALANDAN ESSENTIAL OIL – From the rind of Dalandan, Philippines’ very own sweet citrus, this Essential Oil is bursting with an exciting citrus aroma.
- ELEMI ESSENTIAL OIL – A world-renowned oil because of its benefits, Elemi Essential Oil has been popular to the rest of the globe but to us Filipinos, it seems we are just slowly being familiar in spite of the world’s supply coming from our country. There are 2 types of Elemi Essential Oil, the first one and the most popular, comes from the resin of the Canarium luzonicum tree or the Manila Elemi. The 2nd one comes from the resin of the Canarium ovatum tree or the Pili tree, which have yet to gain popularity as an alternative. Dubbed as “poor man’s frankincense,” Elemi Essential Oil is basically the more abundant and readily available substitute for Frankincense. Well known for its skin rejuvenation benefits, Elemi Essential Oil is also an amazing anti-inflammatory, a great additive for massaging strained or tired muscles, provides relief to respiratory troubles and a great stress reliever.
- ALMACIGA ESSENTIAL OIL – Known to the world as Manila Copal, its globally traded as an ingredient in making varnishes. Traditionally, Almaciga is used as fire starter, caulking for boats, smudge for mosquitoes and incense for religious ceremonies. There are documented evidences that the resin is burned and smoke is inhaled for asthma and other minor respiratory troubles. The Almaciga Essential Oil is extracted by distilling the resin from Agathis philippinesis trees, which are native to the Philippines. Not much is known for the use of its essential oil because of its extreme uniqueness and it is virtually unknown up until its creation by CDL. The Almaciga Essential Oil’s aroma falls in-between Elemi and Frankincense making it another potential alternative to Frankincense.
The bottom line
With so much uncertainty around COVID-19, there is a lot to be anxious about. While we can’t control the world we live in, we can control the way we respond to it. It’s okay if you’re feeling a little uneasy about your current situation, but taking the time to stop and relax can help you get back to your more positive mindset.
Exercise, relaxing hobbies, music, and aromatherapy can all work to relieve anxiety — and they will improve your overall being as well.